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Varieties of reginae olgae

Varieties of reginae-olgae

In the mid 1870's, snowdrop enthusiasts were greatly excited by reports of a unique autumn-flowering snowdrop from the Taigetos mountains in the Greek Peloponnesse. Its discoverer was the Greek botanist and poet T.G. Orphanides, who named it Galanthus reginae-olgae in honour of Queen Olga of Greece (grandmother of the present Duke of Edinburgh).

Botanist and collectors were unwilling to pay the exorbitant prices asked by Orphanides and failed in attempts to get bulbs from Mt. Taigetos by other means: for the time being the autumn flowering snowdrop remained tantalizingly unknown in Western Europe. However, within a decade, bulbs were obtained from Albania, Corfu and Mts. Hymetos and Athos in Greece. At first these were given a great variety of names, but wider exploration and a better understanding was to show that they were the same as Orphanides plants and that the epithet reginae-olgae had priority.

Reginae-olgae can prove tricky to cultivate and seems (with us) to appreciate a drier and sunnier spot than would be considered for most other snowdrops. There are many selections doing the rounds and they would seem to vary in their hardiness and ease of cultivation and flowering. They also seem to be very variable in their time of flowering, depending on the weather (presumably). Our yardstick variety, received from Primrose Warburg as corcyrensis, has flowered as early as mid September and as late as the end of November.


This clone was received from Noel Pritchard who had rec...